Eastern Box Turtle


a1This young male Eastern box turtle was found on an Owen County road in May by a family who had been spending the weekend in the country. As they returned to their Bloomington home late Sunday night, “Spanky,” as the family came to call him, was found seriously injured beside the road.

He had a fracture of the carapace or upper shell that started at his tail and ran up the middle of his back for nearly two inches. The gap between the two halves of the shell above the tail was over half an inch wide. His tail was nearly severed, and the fracture crossed the spinal column at its endpoint. The wound was flushed with a diluted Betadine solution before the carapace was wired together. A surgical dressing Tegaderm covered the injury and antibiotics was begun.
a4After two weeks of being very inactive due to the muscle/tissue trauma, Spanky finally developed a good appetite. With each passing week he became more active and alert to the point of standing at the end of his tank and watching the Reptile Team volunteer’s every move.

Four months after he was admitted, the finders picked him up to release Spanky back home in Owen County. You can see from the pictures he regained the use of his tail and hind limbs; his shell mended nicely as well.

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